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Papers of Richard Denman


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The papers of Richard Denman comprise the following:

  1. General correspondence, mostly letters written by Denman
  2. General correspondence, mostly letters from others
  3. Political correspondence, arranged roughly chronologically
  4. Early Public Affairs
  5. Post Office papers
  6. Newspaper cuttings
  7. Staffield Hall material and some publications with contributions from Denman.

There is some overlap in content, namely that newspaper cuttings also often feature amongst the other correspondence and papers, relating to the context of the material.


  • Creation: 1894-1957


2.51 Linear metres (21 boxes)

Language of Materials

  • English

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MS. 12124/1].

Please see our help page for further guidance on citing archives and manuscripts.

Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. 12124/1-21

Former reference:

Denman temporary boxes 1-13.

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 12124


Papers of Richard Denman (1876-1957) British Liberal and Labour politician.

Biographical History

Sir Richard Douglas Denman, 1st Baronet, was born in 1876. He attended Balliol College, Oxford. In 1905 he became official Private Secretary to the Postmaster General, Sydney Buxton, and later became his Parliamentary Private Secretary when Buxton was President of the Board of Trade, 1910. Denman was elected to the House of Commons as a Liberal for Carlisle in 1910 and in 1914, with the outbreak of World War One, he joined the Union of Democratic Control. In his early career he was also a member of the Committee of Wage-Earning Children, 1912. Denman stepped down from Parliament and pursued a career in local government where he stood, unsuccessfully, as a Liberal candidate for some elections. In 1924, Denman switched parties and joined Labour. He then returned to Westminster in 1929 as Labour MP for Leeds Central Division. In the 1931 Labour Party split over support of the National Government - he joined the National Labour Party, and was re-elected when he stood again for Leeds Central at the 1931 and 1935 General Elections. Denman also served as Chairman of the National Labour Organisation for a period. He resided at Staffield Hall, Cumbria with his second wife, May Spencer, and their family. Denman retired due to ill health in 1945 and died in 1957.


The material was previously listed and assigned temporary box and file numbers, possibly by family, where papers of similar theme or time period were roughly grouped together. This original arrangement, and the flat structure, has been retained.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Deposited at the Bodleian Library in January 1975, by Dr. P. M. Cowburn.


Denman, R. D. 1948 Political Sketches Carlisle: C. Thurnam
Catalogue of the Papers of Richard Denman
Kelly Burchmore
Language of description
Script of description
Edition statement
First edition.

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom